Providing an invisible boundary where pets learn not to venture into is a more effective way of containing our dogs while giving them the freedom to play. An electric dog fence provides such benefits. Unfortunately, picking the right one may not be really that easy as there are a lot of choices in the market. Thankfully, we’ve devoted our resources in coming up with the 15 best electric dog fences in 2019 so you can start installing one for the safety of your pet.
Majority of canine invisible enclosures require some form of digging and laying of wires. This is good if you’re not going to go anywhere else with your dog. As such, when it comes to absolute portability, only PetSafe’s Wireless fence Dog Containment System will do. This wireless electric fence for dogs is pretty much like a wired system except that the physical wire has been removed. Instead, you will be relying on the power of its transmitter which can effectively cover half an acre. The collar comes in various settings and is fully adjustable, too.
½-acre coverage with 90-foot adjustable pet boundaries
Ultra-portable, easy-to-setup design
Waterproof, lightweight collar with audio and static correction
Requires no digging and no burying of wires
Most electric fence for dogs comes with Gauge 20 wiring. The Extreme Dog Fence, however, provides Gauge 14 wires. These are bigger and provide a much safer electrical pathway for the system to work. The transmitter itself is feature-rich, more than capable of covering up to 10 acres. It is highly customizable, too, so you can make sure it won’t interfere with other electronic systems. It has an intuitive computer that compensate for temperature extremes, ensuring the accuracy of warning and correction zones. A surge protector is already included with the system.
Choice of 500 to 2500 feet of boundary wire with Gauges 14 to 20
25-acre effective coverage with submersible and waterproof wiring system
Waterproof dog collar receiver, splice kits, training flags
High-tensile strength boundary wire protected with heavy-duty jacket
The SportDOG Brand in-ground electric fencing for dogs provides a host of features that everyone will love.
First, it includes enough wiring to cover 1.3 acres of property which can be fully expanded up to 100 acres with the purchase of additional wires and flags. The collar receiver is fully waterproof and comes with 4 levels of static correction in addition to the tone and vibration modes. The transmitter can be easily mounted on a wall and comes with built-in power surge and lightning strike protector as well as an alarm system in instances where there’s a break in the integrity of the system. The battery for the receiver should last at least 6 months, maxing at 12 months.
With 1000-foot 20-Gauge boundary wire
100 flags covering 1.3 acres; expandable up to 100 acres
Waterproof dog collar receiver with 4 static correction levels and anti-linger feature
Wall-mounted fence transmitter with weather and electrical protection
Wire break alarm
Easy to install, either above or below the ground, this well-priced dog containment system can cover up to ¾ acre of land. Then all you need to do is fit the receiver to your dog’s collar and he will get to know his boundaries. The collar will work automatically if your pooch crosses the line or starts to get close by emitting a pet safe shock to let him know he has gone too far. Your pup will quickly learn where he shouldn’t go and know the play area he should stay in and enjoy, whether that’s a large space or a smaller yard. The beauty of this containment system is that it can work with multiple dogs, but you do need to buy additional receivers. Each receiver is rechargeable and waterproof and should fit dogs from 12 to 150 pounds.
Up to ¾ acre customizable coverage
For above or below ground
Waterproof and lightweight receiver
Can be used with multiple dogs
The Dogtra is an excellent choice if you have a large space you need to fence off as its coverage range can go up to an impressive 40 acres. This system does need to be set up underground but it offers a fully customizable function so you can allow for surface obstacles as well as smaller range sizes. And you can adjust the range of the boundary at any time, thanks to the easy-to-use transmitter. What we also like about the Dogtra is its filtering system, which prevents any outside electrical sources from interfering with or accidentally activating the fence. There are two forms of alerts for your dog too – a decent vibration which lets your pet know they are getting close and a correction alert in the form of a short correction shock which will condition your dog to stay within their boundaries. Lightweight and waterproof, the receiver is durable enough to be used every day, the batteries are rechargeable, and you have the option of buying a two-dog version if you have more than one pet.
Underground containment system
Up to 40-acre range
Filter system to prevent interference
Lightweight and waterproof receiver
Powered by rechargeable batteries
The PetSafe Wireless Fence is a modest upgrade to the PetSafe Wireless Fence Pet Containment System. It adds an additional ¼ acre to its coverage to make it 0.75 acres. The pet zones have also been improved from a 90-foot radius to 105 feet. As always it is fully expandable as long as you put additional PetSafe Wireless systems into the network. It’s easy to setup and comes with a 2 to 3-hour fast-charging collar that should last 3 weeks. The collar receiver is lightweight enough to be used by pets weighing at least 5 pounds.
0.75-acre coverage with 105-feet adjustable pet zones
Tone and 5-level static correction
3-week rechargeable collar battery life
Easy to setup
The PetControlHQ Wireless Combo Electric Dog Fence System comes with nearly 500 feet of heavy-duty wire for complete customizability. The dog collar comes with 10 levels of vibration in addition to its 3-level static correction mechanism. While there are no indications as to the actual coverage of the accompanying wire, one can find comfort in the knowledge that it is fully expandable up to 10 acres, provided you get expansion items. Compared to other systems, however, the PetControlHQ’s dog collar is not really designed for smaller dogs. Your pet should be at least 11 pounds to wear it.
492-foot 13-Gauge boundary wire with 50 training flags
Expandable coverage to 100 acres
Tone, 10-level vibration, and 3-level static correction
Heavy-duty dog collar with IPX7 waterproof rating
Covering up to 4/5 of an acre, this is a pretty easy to set up dog fence system from Masbrill, which includes 656ft of copper wire which you do need to install underground. But the effort is worth it with this well-priced dog containment kit as you then simply need to set the signal, pop the collar on your dog and off you go! There are 100 levels to this system which can be adjusted to create the boundaries for your dog. And the warning is staggered so your pooch gets plenty of opportunity to turn back. The beeps are graded to include a mild electric shock once your pooch gets too close, with the intensity increasing as he steps over the set boundary, meaning he should learn quite quickly where he shouldn’t go. And wire is durable so should last and the collars are waterproof, so up to everyday use.
Durable wire for underground use
Provides up to 4/5-acre range
Rechargeable, waterproof collar
Adjustable boundary levels
Beep alert as dog approaches
Getting an electric fence for dogs should not cost you a fortune. For under $100, the PetSafe Basic already allows you to cover a third of an acre of your property while allowing the option of full expansion of up to 5 acres. The accompanying collar is also lightweight and fully waterproof, complete with tone and static 4-level correction. It also comes with a surge protector for optimum security and safety of the system.
1/3-acre coverage; expandable to 5 acres
Lightweight, waterproof, 4-level static correction with tone-only dog collar
Electrical surge protection
2-month battery life
For either under or overground use, the Covono electric Dog Fence is a tough piece of kit, with the wire improved to be thicker without losing the necessary flexibility. The result is a versatile set up to safely contain your pet, in a space up to ¾ of an acre. And you can extend this boundary if needed by purchasing extending wires. The collar receiver your dog wears is not too big and is also waterproof for when the weather turns. Once set up, the receiver will first beep as your dog approaches the set boundary before emitting a short shock once he gets too close or crosses the line. It also has a speed detection function so the faster your dog runs towards the boundary, the more intense the corresponding shock will be. The intention is to stop your dog in his tracks and keep him safely where he is meant to be.
Durable and flexible over or underground wires
Covers up to ¾ of an acre
Lightweight and waterproof collar receiver
Beep then shock boundary alert
Speed detector function
A dog fence separates your own property from the rest of the world. It serves as the best territory for your dog in which he or she can move freely. Although the advantages are obvious when in search of a fence that provides the requisite freedom and safety at an affordable price, the Dog In-Ground Radio Fence is what is needed. This easy-to-install dog fence requires no supervision and comes with a receiver collar which is worn on your dog’s neck to pick up radio signals and send alerts when it gets close to the restricted area – with this, your dog will be psyched to stay within the designated area by the radio. The receiver collar is waterproof; thus it can be worn or outdoor activities such as swimming, without the fear of it being destroyed when it comes into contact with rain or water.
Adjustable Receiver Collar
Waterproof Receiver Collar
Perfect for training dogs with hearing impairment
Transmitter with a power adapter
Best for dogs which are difficult to train
A good choice if you have a larger outdoor space or like to shorten or widen the boundaries, this containment kit from Earlyhights gives you up to 5 acres of transmission cover and enough wire for up to ½ acre of land. You get 10 levels of warning from the transmitter and can adjust the strength of the shock as they get too close. And the added speed detection function means you can stop a bolting dog safely in their tracks. The kit comes with two waterproof collar receivers that each offer around 500 hours of use on a single two-hour charge. Each collar is fully adjustable to fit dogs up to 180 pounds and you can buy more collars if you have multiple pets. An easy to install and use containment kit for a mid-range price.
Underground wire system
Up to 5-acre range
Wire coverage of ½-acre
10 levels plus speed detection
Comes complete with two receiver collars
An effective way to train your dog to stay close, whether out on a walk or playing in the yard, this kit may have a higher price-tag, but you do get a lot for your money. First up is the core containment system, with 492ft of wire, which does need to be installed underground. However, we like the topside flags which help you see the boundary and can visually support your dog in knowing where he can and can’t go. The waterproof and adjustable collar receivers are easy to fit and emit first a beep and then a static correction with an added vibration to let your pooch know they have gone too far. The transmitter unit is logical to set up and you also get a handheld transmitter to use as a training aid when out with your pet on a walk. Add in an ultrasonic training whistle, USB wall charger plus the option to buy additional collars and wire cable and you have a nicely performing containment kit you can make work for your own home set up.
Polyolefin coated wire
Transmitter plus handheld remote
Beep and static correction
Waterproof, rechargeable collar
Includes flags and ultrasonic whistle
The PetSafe Free to Roam Wireless Fence allows you to create a secure restricted area in your compound without the need to install a physical fence; Without a dog fence, you have to keep an eye on your dog when outdoors. Resting in the garden and reading a book is only possible to a limited extent if you are a responsible dog owner. That’s why this efficient fence comes in handy. It is extremely easy to set up and can also be used when camping with the family due to its portability. It also comes with an adjustable receiver collar which can fit the neck of most dog breeds, regardless of size. The receiver collar is also waterproof with a personalized setting; enabling you to train your dog to a particular sound. The collar offers a long battery lifespan which lasts for about two months.
Adjustable receiver collar
Resistant against water and rain
Comes with 50 training flags
Wireless boundary; no wires to bury
Electric dog fences or a wireless pet containment system create an invisible barrier between your property and the outside environment. Wires are placed underground or above ground to approximate the boundaries of your property or where you deem off-limits to your dogs and other pets. This is connected to a transmitter or a monitoring device. A separate receiver is embedded in the dog’s collar. If the system is active, every time the dog goes near the electrically-charged invisible fence, it connects with the collar-mounted receiver to deliver an electric charge which startles the dog but never hurt or injure it.
If you do decide to install an electric dog fence, there are certain things that you really have to consider. Typically, you’ll save a lot if you’re going to install it yourself. However, do keep in mind that you will still have to purchase the system and any other extras. Here are the things that you may have to prepare for.
Most manufacturers of canine invisible enclosures provide a complete set that already includes the wiring, a dog perimeter collar, and a transmitter. These usually run anywhere from $100 to about $400, although it’s not unusual to find something cheaper or even more expensive. Know that this does not cover installation yet.
This is greatly dependent on the size of your property or the actual perimeter of the property you may want to enclose. If you purchase an invisible dog fence kit that already comes with wiring, you may want to look at the length of the included wire as it may not be enough to cover your area. If you’re not going to buy a kit, you can expect to pay around $30 to $70 for your wiring, again depending on the length that you need.
If you are going to purchase this separately from the system or if you need an additional collar for some of your dogs, receiver collars usually range in price from $15 to $75 with the average at around $50. Most kits come with one or two collars so this should be enough if you only have 1 or 2 dogs at home. However, if you have quite a number of pooches, you may have to purchase additional units for each one of them.
The receivers and transmitters of the system typically run on batteries. As such you are also expected to purchase an appropriate battery charger. As much as possible, don’t get anything without a UL seal. These may save you a lot but they are often at a greater risk for electrical mishaps. You should get a good charger for about $50, although really excellent ones can cost $300 or even more. You may also need to consider the number of units you need to charge at any given time. This should also be factored in your buying decision.
It is a general recommendation that batteries be replaced at least every 4 months; that’s 3 times a year. This can easily translate to around $60 up to $90 per year on a single unit alone. Again, you may choose to go on the ultra-cheap side of things but it may not be a wise investment. It’s always safer to choose a UL-tested and certified battery, too.
While not absolutely necessary, you may also want to invest in a voltage meter to determine or evaluate the electric charge of the system. Depending on the model or brand of the voltage meter, prepare to pay around $5 for the cheapest or $30 for the more expensive ones. Again, don’t forget the UL seal in these products.
Like we have already said, you can install the electric fence for dogs yourself or you can get a professional to do it for you. The only downside to hiring a professional is that you can easily shell out anywhere between $900 and $1,300. This is a rather steep price for installing an invisible fence. The good news is that they do it so efficiently that they can have the whole system up and running in just a short period of time. However, it is always best to check and hire someone with a solid background and certification on these systems.
Take a look at our latest review of Bark Collar For Dogs.
Installing an electric dog fence can be a very fulfilling DIY project if you know what you’re doing. It’s almost similar to erecting a physical enclosure, only this time you will be working with electronic gadgets and gears rather than wood, mortar, or bricks. The good news is that it really is easy to install an electric dog fence. Here’s how.
It’s always a good idea to plot your ‘boundaries’ on a graphing paper to get an idea of where to place your transmitter as well as the length of wire that you will need. Do take note that property corners must be designed in an arc as doing it at an angle can confuse the electronic transmitter. Additionally, the wire must form a continuous loop from and to the transmitter. Always consider the presence of other electrical fixtures such as electric wires, TV cables, telephone wires, antenna dishes, or even antenna wires. Never run the invisible fence wires along these structures. Also, do not cross power lines.
An excellent place to install the transmitter in is your garage. It’s dry and provides adequate protection for this sensitive unit from the elements. However, it is important not to install it near your circuit breaker. Additionally, mount your transmitter away from other electronic appliances in your garage. Never install your transmitter in a shed or even your barn as the risk of fire or electric shock is simply too great if the unit gets exposed to the elements. In installing the transmitter, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions to the letter. Also, don’t forget to ground it.
Using your diagram or your plot lay down the wire along your ‘marked’ boundaries. If there are obstacles within your containment area, you can twist the wires together to cancel the signal. This is especially important in working around swimming pools, landscape elements, trees, and other obstacles.
Once you’re satisfied with the layout of your wiring, you can now connect the terminals of your boundary wires to your transmitter.
With the wires still above ground and the system turned on, get the collar receiver and test if it emits a sound, vibrations, or even delivers a shock – depending on the setting that you’ve programmed on the transmitter – once it is within range of your electric fence. Manufacturers often provide adjustable settings in how near your pet can get close to the invisible boundary before it is ‘startled’ by the system. Check if it is working within your set parameters.
Once you’ve ascertained that all of the transmitter, wiring, and receiver are working as planned, you can start fixing the wire in its position. Majority of installers recommend burying the wire about 1 to 3 inches underground. While this is absolutely not necessary, having the wire above-ground can pose some issues later on. If you have a chain-link fence, do not run your boundary wire close to it. If you need to add more wires, make sure that it is of the appropriate size and one that is recommended by the manufacturer. Also, use only wire connectors approved for such a purpose. Always test the connection with the wire connectors on before you fix it with a silicone caulk and electrical tape, once the caulk has dried. If you really have to cross surfaces, you will need to create a trench to put the wire in. Again, you have to check the connection before patching the trench with an appropriate substance.
Manufacturers always have recommendations for grounding as several systems have been known to be especially vulnerable to power surges and lightning strikes. Even if your system says it is relatively ‘immune’ from such phenomenon, it is still a lot better to be on the safe side.
An invisible dog fence is always an excellent choice for a variety of reasons. Here are some of the most common benefits of an electric canine fence.
Given a ¼ to ½ acre property, installing a wireless dog fence can set you back by about $220, excluding labor. A wired dog fence can be had up and running for only $100 if you decide to do it yourself. Getting a professional will set you back by about $800 or so. A chain link fence, on the other hand, can easily run anywhere between $1,500 and $3,000 if you’re going to do it yourself. Hiring a professional can easily cost you around $4,000 up to $7,500 for the same size of the lot. Getting a wooden fence is a bit more expensive. A DIY project can cost up to $4,500. Getting a pro to do it will jack up the price up to $15,000 with $5,000 being the minimum.
Aside from the cost of installation, maintaining and repairing physical enclosures can also be sources of additional expenses. This is especially true for ranch-type wooden fencing as wood doesn’t really bid well against the elements. On the other hand, while you may have to check the integrity of your electrical system from time to time and replace the batteries several times a year, these should not cost you a fortune.
Technically, no matter how you look at it, installing an invisible fence is definitely more cost-effective than a traditional enclosure. It’s a lot easier to install, too.
Because there are no physical barriers, you can take pride in your elegant landscaping a lot more. You get to enjoy the fantastic views without any obstructions. This can also translate to a much higher value for your home in case you do decide to sell it.
This is perhaps one of the real benefits of having an electric fence for dogs. We all know that our pets require plenty of exercises and play time for them to really feel happy, content, and not develop any behavioral issues that are commonly seen in pooches that are caged all their life. Not only are these pets more emotionally stable, but they are also more agile, stronger, and less prone to the development of canine health conditions, too.
Having an electric fencing for dogs also keeps our pets safe. They can roam around freely in our property without running across the street or even wandering into other people’s backyard or property. Some homeowners are not really that kind when somebody else’s pet wanders into their property. You will also have peace of mind knowing your precious pets are well within the confines of your property.
Invisible canine enclosures can also be an excellent tool for obedience training. At any rate, the versatility of the system far outweighs any concern that you may have.
One of the most common questions that potential users of an electric fence for dogs have is related to the placement of the wiring. Let us look at the merits of each one including their drawbacks so you’ll be able to make the right decision as to which method you will observe for your system.
The obvious advantage of an above ground installation is that it simplifies the whole installation process. You simply stretch your wiring along your preferred route and you’re essentially done. You don’t need to remove anything or even dig a trench to run the wiring through. You can also let nature take its course and let grass and weeds slowly cover it over time.
The drawback, of course, is that it can be an eyesore to your lawn, backyard, or landscape as it doesn’t really look nice to have an electric wire running across your lawn. While it is true that the wire can be covered by grass, if you happen to forget where it is and you start mowing your lawn, there’s a great chance you might hit the wire. If there is no cover, then kids playing in the area can trip on it.
The weaknesses of an above ground wiring installation are undoubtedly the strengths of an underground system. Since the wiring is essentially underground, there are no wires to trip to or even to cut when mowing your lawn. Additionally, people won’t even know you have wires under your property. And it’s safer for kids, too.
The negative? Well, you really have to dig trenches and even purposely modify certain structures in your landscape to accommodate your wiring. This significantly increases the amount of time that you will spend and added complexity in installing the system. And if you’re not really that skilled as a handyman, you’ll more likely to do more damage to your property than you ever hope for.
You may have the most high-tech invisible electric fence in town, but if you don’t train your dog to get acquainted with the system, you’re only spending on worthless technology. It is for this reason that you take time teaching your dog on its new electric fence the moment you already have the system up and running. Here’s how.
A: One of the most troublesome issues with wired electric dog fences is the tendency of the wires to break. It can be due to an accident or it can even be on purpose or it can just be because of an aging system. Regardless of the cause of the break, it is important to fix it so you get to continue enjoying the full benefits of having such an invisible fence around your home.
However, before you could even fix a broken wire in the system you should first be able to determine its exact location. Most transmitters come with built-in alarms that will notify you if there is a break in the wiring. You can perform a short loop test or even use an ohmmeter to establish the patency of the transmitter.
These tests will only indicate that you have a break in your electric dog fence, however. These don’t tell you where the break is. To do this, you will need to take care of and physically inspect the entire length of your wiring, starting at the transmitter. Follow the wire and carefully inspect every inch of exposed wires. If there are no visible defects you can continue following the path of the wire. If it is in-ground, you will have to observe for any signs of disturbance on the topsoil covering the wire. For instance, if you notice signs of rodent-digging in an area where your wire is located, then you may have a possible break in this location. Pay special attention to areas with heavy foot traffic as well as the edge lines of sidewalks and driveways as these are the most common areas where breaks can occur.
If you don’t like such methods you may want to invest in some technologies designed specifically to identify the location of the wire break. Do understand that such systems also have their own limitations.
Once you have isolated where the break is, fixing it should be fairly easy. While different manufacturers have their recommended way of fixing breaks in their system, you can always decide to keep it simple. Strip the wire and create a butterfly twist to keep both tires together. Tie a knot in the butterfly twist and secure it with electrical tape.
If the tension on the wire is great that doing the butterfly twist may cause further break anywhere along the length of the wire, you may have to cut it and use a splice kit to join the two cut ends. The process will still be the same, except that you’ll have 2 joints instead of one.
A: Here’s the general rule: the thicker the wire, the more resilient it is against breakage. Electric wires come in gauges such as 14-gauge, 16-gauge, and the like. The number of the gauge is inversely proportional to its capacity and resilience. As such, the lower the number of the gauge (14 vs 20), the more resilient and bigger it is. That being said, deciding on the best wire size for your dog is all a matter of how powerful a digger your pet is. You definitely want a wire that can resist breakage. And if your pet happens to have a knack for chewing on things then you might want a lower-gauged wire.
A: Depending on the manufacturer of the system you’re buying, you can actually place the wiring above ground instead of burying it. Do take note, however, that there are certain drawbacks to an on-ground layout of wiring as it is physically visible on the ground. Your dog can nibble on the wire if the system is turned off or your pet is not wearing its dog boundary collar. People may also trip on it or may be broken by your lawnmower or any other equipment. Plus, it’s not really a great sight having wires all over your yard.
A: Advocates of positive reinforcement in canine training will tell you outright that shock coming from an electric dog fence is not a positive way to teach dogs what they need to do. It only tells them what they cannot do. That is why the application of shock should always be done as the last resort since it is a form of aversion technique. A dog avoids the fence because it gets shocked.
As for the safety, experts say that it is relatively safe. Unfortunately, there really is no way of telling if our dogs also get hurt every time they are shocked. Regardless of the ‘level’ of static correction, there will still be signs of tissue injury at the site of the metal probes where the static electricity is delivered. Does it hurt your dog? We dare you to try it yourself. If it doesn’t hurt you, then it shouldn’t hurt your dog. But, if you feel even the slightest discomfort with the application of the shock, then you know that your dog will be hurt, too.
A: Electric dog fences are not effective in keeping your dog within your premises unless you train them. This is one of the saddest aspects of using technology. People have this thinking that modern technology will answer all of their problems. Unfortunately, no matter how advanced an electric dog fence is, if you don’t teach your dog well enough, then it’s nothing more than a complete waste. Train your dog on how to behave with the electric fence on and you’ll see just how effective it is.
A: Most electric dog fences already come with excellent weather-proofing. Some have lightning and surge protectors to help minimize, if not eliminate, the risks associated with such electrical problems. A major concern will be the waterproofing of the wires as well as their resistance to environmental degradation. The good news is that modern technologies are now addressing these issues, creating products that are able to resist environmental and weather changes.
You may also like our article on the Best Dog Monitor.
Picking the best electric dog fence was a bit tricky as there are great contenders in the list. However, we really had to pick one of each type of invisible fence – wired and wireless.
Our pick for the wired electric dog fence is SportDOG brand’s In-Ground Fence System, although PetSafe’s Basic In-Ground Fence came in a very close second. What sold us to the SportDOG is its incredible 100-acre expansion capabilities. As for the wireless system, it was hands-down PetSafe Wireless Fence with a ¾-acre coverage and a 105-foot fully adjustable range.
Personally, we do recommend getting the two systems since the SportDOG can be a very useful pet containment system in our homes. On the other hand, the PetSafe Wireless Fence should really come in handy when traveling with our dogs. Campsites will be a lot safer for our pets with the handy portability of the PetSafe wireless.
Check out our guide on Dog Whistles.
More and more dog lovers are installing electric fencing for dogs as a matter of keeping up with society’s expectations for them to be responsible dog owners. Invisible dog perimeter fences are more cost-effective, are easier to install and maintain, and are definitely more beneficial to our dogs’ overall welfare. You can now start installing your own system using any of our 15 best electric dog fences in 2019.